Why do community service?
- Doing Community Service builds character.
- Community Service builds job skills and adds to your resume.
- You gain valuable work experience.
- You learn how truly fortunate you are.
- Volunteering promotes personal growth and self-esteem.
- Community Service promotes civic responsibility.
- It saves resources—Volunteering allows non-profits to save money so that it can be used elsewhere.
- Volunteering allows you to contribute to a cause you care about.
- Community Service is a Shelton graduation requirement.
- Volunteering allows you to explore new areas of interest.
- YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
How many hours does Shelton require?
- Freshmen and Sophomores are required to do 10 hours per year.
- Juniors and Seniors are required to do 20 hours per year.
- Students who perform the minimum of hours each year from grades 9-12 will accumulate 60 hours by graduation.
Why must I spread out my service hours over 4 years rather than just complete all 60 hours at once?
Continuing to volunteer over your four years here reinforces the idea that service is a lifelong pursuit, not a one-time event.
Do hours "roll over" from one semester or school year to the next?
No. Example: If a sophomore does 13 hours of service during their freshman year, he will have satisfied the requirement for that year. The 3 additional hours he did over the required 10, while documented for the freshman year, do not "roll over" into the sophomore year.
When can an 8th grader start doing service that will count toward his freshman year total?
June 1 is the start date for freshman service hours.
How many hours do other schools require?
- Bishop Lynch—60 hours by junior year
- Carrollton Christian—80 by graduation
- Greenhill—48 by graduation
- Parish—60 by graduation
- ESD—50 by graduation
- *Fairhill—110 by graduation
- *Winston—120 by graduation
- Hockaday—60 by graduation
- St. Marks—60 by graduation
- JPII—100 by graduation
- Jesuit—170 by graduation
- Highland Park HS—50 by graduation
- JJ Pearce—30 hours per year required for graduation recognition (but not for graduation)
* Designates LD school
Is there a special award for going far above and beyond what is required at Shelton?
- Yes. Beginning with the 2011-2012 school year, Shelton will be offering the President’s Volunteer Service Award in recognition of students whose service goes far beyond what is required by Shelton. High school students age 15 and over who document 250+ approved hours of service in one school year will receive the Gold Level President’s Service Award at the annual end-of-year Honors Ceremony. For more information regarding this prestigious award, check: http://www.presidentialserviceawards.gov/.
What if I went to another school for my freshman and/or sophomore year—will I have to make up the hours for those years?
No, however, if your previous school did require community service hours, and you'd like them documented toward your total, we're happy to accept them here if you’ll provide some sort of proof (documentation, email, or phone call) from the service coordinator for that school.
When is my service hour documentation due?
Documentation for the 2022-23 school year is due on or by Monday, April 17, 2023.
Can I volunteer at Shelton?
Yes, but any Shelton activity MUST BE PRE-APPROVED by the Community Service Coordinator (Ms. Wilson).
Why does doing community service at Shelton require pre-approval?
Like volunteering to help your family, friends, and neighbors, volunteering to help your school is something you should do without reward. Shelton parents and staff members donate many hours of their time to make Shelton a special place. Students should, too. Anything done as part of a Shelton club/organization (ASL Club, Find Out, sports team, Theatre Dept., choir, etc.) or leadership position (Student Council, Class Officer, Peer Helper, etc.) is part the experience of membership. Since leadership positions, activities, clubs, etc. go on your resume, they cannot be counted toward your community service requirement.
Can I get Community Service credit if I work for free at a regular, for-profit business?
Unless it's a hospital or nursing home, probably not. The point of community service is to help non-profit agencies save their limited resources so that they can continue to do good work. These agencies DEPEND on volunteers; many of them have no paid employees.
Where can I volunteer?
A Social Service Agency –homeless shelter, food pantry, soup kitchen, clinic, nursing home, etc. (Examples: Catholic Charities of Dallas, Red Cross, Jewish Family Services, Special Olympics, Stewpot, Habitat for Humanity, Children’s Hospital, Family Gateway, Captain Hope’s Kids, Voice of Hope, etc.)
Civic organizations like libraries, rec centers, city parks, Teen Court, police/fire department, etc.
Hospitals, blood banks, clinics, organizations to raise awareness for illnesses or disabilities
Projects sponsored by religious groups (mission trips, food or clothing drive, daycare during services, Vacation Bible School, etc.)
Weekend camp, summer camp, or after school program for younger kids
Eagle Scout Project/Girl Scout Gold Award project
What if I want to do something that is not on the above list?
When in doubt, get it pre-approved. For example, if you want to do something to help an individual, but the activity isn't through any sort of agency or religious/civic organization, it may or may not count, depending on the situation. Go see Ms. Wilson with questions and you can discuss.
What DOES NOT “count” for Shelton service hours?
- Helping a family member or friend
- Helping out around Shelton (unless pre-approved)
- Anything done during the school day while school is in session
- Anything that raises funds or directly benefits Shelton or an organization at Shelton (example: Theatre Dept., Athletics, choir, Student Council, etc.) Exception: Admin. has approved helping with annual Auction and with the Lower School's Book Fair.
- Anything that you could list as an extra-curricular activity on your resume (example: Student Council activities or being a Shelton Delegate).
- Anything done for payment or other compensation.
- Anything done at a for-profit business (exceptions: hospitals, nursing homes).
- Anything that can’t be verified or is not done through an approved agency (example: picking up trash around your neighborhood or babysitting a neighbor's child)
- You also may NOT count: travel time to your service destination, time spent sleeping while at camp or on mission trips, etc.
- Club/organization meetings (scouts, YMSL, etc.). Service done for others as a member these organizations DOES count, but not the meetings themselves.
- Donations (money, food items, coats, prom dresses, shoes, etc.) no longer count toward a student's service hour requirement.
Does giving blood count?
Students aged 16 or older may receive 1 hour of Community Service credit for donating a unit of blood, as long as it’s not during school hours. Students who donate plasma or double red blood cells may receive 1.5 hours.
What if I can’t find anything to do for my service hours?
- Check the calendar for upcoming events by clicking the "Calendar" button on the main Community Service page.
- Check out any of the approved agencies based on your interest area by clicking any of the buttons on the main Community Service page.
- See Ms. Wilson in the Upper School Office.
Who signs my documentation form?
- A supervisor where you volunteer (not your parent).
- Another student may NEVER sign your documentation form.
- Remember, anything done for Shelton MUST have pre-approval by Ms. Wilson.
What if I forget to get a supervisor’s signature?
Most non-profit agencies keep records of volunteer service. You can contact them and ask them to call or email me with verification of your service. Unfortunately, we cannot take service hour documentation on the “honor system.”
Where can I get a documentation form?
You can print a form from this website by clicking here.
What happens if I miss the deadline for turning in my service hour documentation?
Per the Upper School Handbook, students who fail to turn in service hour documentation on time will earn a Saturday Detention for missing the deadline. The student must see Ms. Wilson to make a plan for completing his/her hours. Failure to perform the service and turn in the documentation by the plan date will result in further consequences. Since students have had months to complete this requirement, it’s not likely that this consequence will be waived.